The UN Youth Delegate Programme: An Opportunity for Youth Engagement in the UN

The World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) is a global nonprofit organization representing and coordinating a membership of over 100 national United Nations Associations.
Thursday, October 12, 2017

In recognition of the need to increase youth participation in the work of the United Nations, the Permanent Mission of Germany to the UN, UN DESA, and WFUNA organized a side-event during the 72nd UN General Assembly to discuss the UN Youth Delegate Programme. The main objectives of the event were to raise awareness of the programme and the tools available to establish it at the national level.  

The UN Youth Delegate Programme was created with the principal goals of facilitating youth participation in intergovernmental processes and bringing the message of the UN to the national level. Youth Delegates to the UN act as a part of the national delegation in international forums and negotiations.

Mr. Andreas Glossner, Political Officer at the Permanent Mission of Germany to the UN, gave introductory remarks mentioning Germany’s role in the UN Youth Delegate Programme and stressing how youth delegates act as a two-way mechanism, bringing youth voices to the UN and informing young people at the national level about the UN. Ms. Marissa Storozum, UN Youth Delegate Programme Coordinator, provided an overview of the UN Youth Delegate Programme. Mr. Pablo Angulo-Troconis, WFUNA Sustainable Development Officer, touched upon WFUNA’s contribution to promoting the programme and how many United Nations Associations manage the program at the national level.

Mr. Tommaso Murè, Youth Delegate to the UN from Italy, shared his experience establishing the program in Italy. He stressed the importance of clearly defining the purpose and mission of the program to external stakeholders. He further advised developing a communication network with other youth delegates and being resilient when funding issues arise. Ms. Paige Burton, Youth Delegate to the UN from Australia, spoke about the process of funding the program. In Australia's case, sponsors include organizations from the private sector and local governments. She explained the importance of establishing strong rapport with local governments to engage with local youth and secure sponsorships.

Ms. Anaïck Geißel, Youth Delegate to the UN from Germany, outlined the selection process, her experience working with various youth in Germany, and the responsibilities of a Youth Delegate. Ms. Asya Tsvetanova, First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of Bulgaria to the UN, provided the member state perspective on the Youth Delegate Programme. She explained that youth delegates are granted full rights as diplomats to participate in the work of the mission. Youth Delegates receive training to make statements at the UN and interact with diplomats. She further explained that the Permanent Mission of Bulgaria organizes meetings with interested member states to raise awareness of the program.

Interested in establishing the Youth Delegate Programme in your country? Our handbook gives you the tools to start the process.

Meet the WFUNA Youth Delegate Programme Multipliers, a group of current and former Youth Delegates helping us expand the Youth Delegate Programme around the world.

If you have any questions, send us as an email to youth@wfuna.org.

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